Michigan State Basketball: Ranking Tom Izzo’s top 10 recruiting classes

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Apr 4, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan State Spartans guard/forward Branden Dawson (22) and guard Travis Trice (20) hug in the second half of the 2015 NCAA Men

9. Class of 2011

This had the potential to be one of the best classes in Izzo’s tenure, but fell just short as one of its top members, four-star Dwaun Anderson, never played a game for the Spartans as he battled family issues and ultimately transferred out of East Lansing to a smaller program.

Anderson was a highly-touted prospect and he was thought to be one of the next great Spartans as he was just the latest in the line of Michigan’s Mr. Basketball Award winners. There was very little publicity as to why he transferred to Wagner College, but it was the right choice for him. No sense in wondering what could have been.

Branden Dawson was the biggest prospect in the class as a five-star prospect and the No. 20 player in the entire nation, according to Rivals. He came in as an athletic specimen before injuring his knee before the 2012 NCAA Tournament and his freshman season had a sour ending. Dawson helped lead the Spartans to a Final Four in his senior year in 2014-15 and could be a future NBA star — he finished his career with 10.1 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.

Travis Trice became one of the most celebrated Spartans in school history as he overcame life-threatening illnesses to lead the Spartans to a Final Four in 2015. Trice was often injured and his senior year he finally showed his potential when he stayed healthy throughout the entire year. For his career, he finished with an 8.5-point, 2.9-assist per game average. His senior year was his best, however, as he averaged 15.3 points per contest.

Three-star forward Brandan Kearney transferred out of the program.

Brandon Wood was a transfer in this class and played one season for the Spartans — doesn’t count as a member for the 2011 recruiting class, but still worth mentioning.

Next: 8. Class of 2012

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